Samsung and LG's Android flagships, the G6 and Galaxy S8 are set to go head-to-head in the coming weeks, in what'll be one of the biggest Android rivalries of the year. This year, both manufacturers are targeting slightly different price points for their high-end offerings, with the G6 selling for $100 (or more, depending on your carrier) less than the GS8.
So what does Samsung bring to the table to (potentially) justify that extra cash? Let's take a look...
1. Wireless charging everywhere
While only the U.S. and Canadian LG G6 models have wireless charging, Samsung's latest flagship lets you charge without cables wherever in the world you are. That's not a big deal for American and Canadian customers, but if you're buying anywhere else, wireless charging is only available in the GS8, not the G6.
Wireless charging has been a staple Galaxy feature going back to 2015's GS6, and the company's latest devices also offer extra-quick wireless recharges thanks to built-in fast wireless charging.
2. More biometric security options
It's no secret that the Galaxy S8's fingerprint sensor is in kind of an awkward place, but at least you've got other option for securing your device. The Galaxy S8 has iris scanning built in, and it's significantly faster and less finicky than in last year's Note 7 (RIP), using the unique patterns of your irises to secure your device.
Next is facial recognition — less secure, but more convenient — which has actually been part of Android for years, but which on the GS8 is significantly quicker and less fiddly. (It's worth noting that you can't use iris recognition and face recognition at the same time.)
But hey, at least the G6, with its single biometric security offering, puts that fingerprint scanner in a place you can actually reach.
3. More CPU horsepower and efficiency
This one's pretty cut-and-dry. The LG G6 ships with the proven, but aging, Snapdragon 821, while the Galaxy S8 will be the first to ship with the newer Snapdragon 835 in the U.S. (Most other countries get Samsung's own Exynos 8995 chip.) Both processors are based on a new 10nm manufacturing process, which is more power-efficient than the 14nm process that the 821's built on. Which means that, all other things being equal, the GS8 should be able to do a little bit more with a little less power (and heat) than the G6.
Qualcomm also highlights performance improvements across the board, as you'd expect from a generational jump forwards in SoCs.
4. 64GB storage as standard
Another of the G6's weird geographic differences sees Asian consumers getting a phone with roomy 64GB of storage, while Europe and America are left with an adequate (but only just) 32GB, without any larger storage option. For that reason, you'll definitely want to invest in a good microSD card if you plan on picking up a G6 in the West.
5. VR and desktop dock
Samsung has built out a considerable selection of accessories around its Galaxy phones in recent years, and on the GS8 the two main attractions are the Gear VR headset (now with a controller) and the DeX desktop dock.
While the GS8 doesn't work with Google's Daydream VR, the company's own VR platform is well established, with major content creators backing the Oculus-partnered service. And with the addition of a controller in the new Gear VR for the Galaxy S8, there are even more gaming possibilities.
And then theres DeX, Samsung's desktop dock, which is as much a showcase of the power of the handset as anything. Plus your GS8 into the DeX dock (and a monitor, mouse and keyboard, naturally), and you've got a basic desktop computer. Samsung has partnered with Adobe and Microsoft to bring scaled apps to DeX, and windowed versions of your Android apps are available too.
Both of these features are exclusive to the GS8 right now, with nothing similar announced for the G6.
So, GS8 or G6? Hit the comments and let us know which you'd pick. And we'll take a look at the things the G6 does better in a future article!
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